Alumni Award Nominations

Each year, the HGSE Alumni of Color Conference (AOCC) recognizes individuals by giving three awards: the Alumni Achievement Award to an HGSE alumnus, the Tina Hansar Award to a current staff member, and the Kolajo Award to a current student of color. Each award is given to a person who demonstrates commitment to equity in issues of race, class, and education. We invite members of the HGSE community to submit nominations to the AOCC Keynote and Alumni Awards Committee.

All nominations for each award must be submitted by 11:59 PM EST on February 15th, 2019.

 
 
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AOCC Alumni Achievement Award

The 2020 Alumni of Color Conference Awards Committee will recognize an HGSE alumnus who has demonstrated commitment to equity in issues of race, class, and education. This year's award will go to an alum who exemplifies the values of this year's theme, "HGSE 100 Years in the Making: Past, Present, and Future of Education for Communities of Color" The award recipient will exhibit strength in at least one of the following categories:

1) their work in defining the root causes of systemic oppression and challenging the racial and intersecting injustices that adversely impact communities of color.
2) their perspectives of identity and/or cultural identities that shed light on issues of injustice in education.
3) their personal/ professional work that dismantles oppressive structures and forges a new legacy through activism.
4) the valuable work they have done that encompass best practices for working with and within communities to improve the educational and life outcomes for ALL students.

Successful nominees may be practitioners, activists, researchers, scholars, policymakers...they may be found in single schools, networks, neighborhoods, communities, cities, businesses, nonprofits, organizations, districts, states, systems, or elsewhere.

 
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AOCC Tina Hansar Award for Educational Equity

The Alumni of Color Conference awards annually an HGSE staff member who has demonstrated commitment to educational equity in the spirit of Tina Hansar. Christine “Tina” Hansar had a long and fulfilling career in student services at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE) where she was loved by students and colleagues. Specifically, she was instrumental in the successful acclimation of many students of color to the HGSE environment through her kindness, compassion, and empathy for the challenges minoritized students face in predominantly white institutions. She was a true advocate for student initiatives and played key roles in student-initiated events to honor the personal, political, and intellectual assets that these students bring to educational organizing and knowledge-building. In her honor, the Christine “Tina” L. Hansar Award for Commitment to Educational Equity recognizes the work of a current HGSE staff member who demonstrates Tina’s advocacy for student-led initiatives to transform the HGSE environment and education broadly in the pursuit for equity and excellence.

This year's award will go to an HGSE staff member who exemplifies the values of this year's theme, "Homecoming: Past, Present & Future." The award recipient will exhibit strength in at least one of four categories:

1) their perspectives of identity and/or cultural identities that shed light on issues most salient to them.
2) their work in highlighting the inter-connectedness of power, privilege, and oppression.
3) their personal/ professional work that explore the current and historical narratives and educational experiences of previously “unseen” groups such as rural students, Arab/Arab American, Middle Eastern, first generation college students, undocumented students, African Diaspora, immigrants, students with disabilities, religious minorities, globalization, storytelling and empowerment, changing demography of the US, and other suppressed and oppressed voices of today.
4) the valuable work they have done that encompass best practices for working with and within communities to improve the educational and life outcomes for ALL students.

 
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2019 AOCC Kolajo Paul Afolabi Award for Commitment to Educational Justice

The Alumni of Color Conference awards annually an HGSE student who demonstrates through their work commitment to educational justice in the spirit of Kolajo Paul Afolabi. At the moment of his untimely passing in fall 2011, Kolajo Paul Afolabi, Ed.M. ‘10, was a doctoral student who studied higher education -- a devoted friend, partner, and family member and an active member of the HGSE and AOCC community. His particular commitment was to support low-income, first-generation youth in their pursuit of higher education. Kolajo was determined that all young people should have the opportunity to afford, attend, and graduate from college. In his honor, the Kolajo Afolabi Award for Commitment to Educational Justice recognizes the work of a current HGSE student who demonstrates Kolajo's mission to use academia as transformative pursuit for equity and
excellence.

This year's award will go to a student who exemplifies the values of this year's theme, "Homecoming: Past, Present & Future." The award recipient will exhibit strength in at least one of four categories:

1) their work in defining the root causes of systemic oppression and challenging the racial and intersecting injustices that adversely impact communities of color.
2) their perspectives of identity and/or cultural identities that shed light on issues of injustice in education.
3) their personal/ professional work that dismantles oppressive structures and forges a new legacy through activism.
4) the valuable work they have done that encompass best practices for working with and within communities to improve the educational and life outcomes for ALL students.